Incites to Future Likelihood
There’s an uncomfortable stir in my bottled water, and no amount of alleged “natural” or “spring” can make it otherwise. The liquid rocks back and forth at the surface, perhaps in time to the Beatles Greatest Hits playing over the coffee shop speakers, which has been set to repeat all and left to run all day long. We’re talking early Beatles here.
Or perhaps the rumble of two busses, both 71Cs, passing eachother on all too thin street in Pittsburgh’s Shadiest of Sides is causing the stir. My fellow work-from-cafe colleagues sitting to the table at my left might put the blame on my own throaty cough, but I can only light a cigarette and have a sip of the water to imply my retort.
Regardless of the source, the result is obvious, a sticky and uncertain future lays ahead. I suspect the worst, but do my best not to vocalize it in any way. If impending doom is leering on the horizon, or otherwise, it’s best that we all spend our last few hours in blissful ignorance rather than panicked escape. What’s better, after all, 2.4 million people living their daily lives for another early Spring afternoon only to die in some dastardly tidal wave/meteor shower/black hole, or all of those people wasting their last hours on Earth fleeing, only to spend the time panicking and in traffic jams, killing each other to save themselves, scarring mankind with the burden of an atrocious memory only to see a small portion of them escape the city’s fate?
Maybe if China decides to rise up and drop our satellites, defeating our abilities to realize they’re pointing Pakistani nukes at our big cities, enough to make their way down to humble Pittsburgh, we’ll all just burn up in a quick flash of microwave action. The tunnels will flood with SUVs trying to 6 wheel drive their way over motorcyclists and sucker Prius owners who finally see a reason behind horsepower, the mix of candy apple red paint chips and human blood spilled so quickly that it didn’t have time to turn from blue to red before it dried in the heatwave of a tanker explosion as Ol’ Gus McMilfred thought he’d hammer the pedal and try to plow his way out of downtown.
The airports will be over run with novice and first time pilots, one of which shuts the door behind him on a giant jumbo jet with only two other passengers on board. He manages to make it off of the runway amidst the chaos of other colliding aircraft being fought over civilian and penchant pilots alike, only to get caught in the tail end of the nuke’s aftermath. The plane is rocked to the right and forgets how to fly. The three people on board cry for themselves, their souls, and the children they left behind, in that order, before the plane crashes down into some farmland that hasn’t been used in 20 years and will have to wait another 20 now to even have the chance to again.
In later months, when the government is able to regain its composure, and they finally send recovery teams into Pittsburgh to salvage anything that could be melted down and turned into some type of defense, even as the Chinamen’s boat are boarding the Californian shores as our military attempts to force open the San Andreas fault and send them back into the sea, various skeletal remains will be found, those who weren’t simply blown away by the force of the various explosions across the city. A young girl’s skull is smashed into her boyfriends. It was 5th period and they’d decided to go all the way, but were just slowing into the initial kiss before being incinerated and having their heads fused together. A copy of Terminator 2 is the only video at the East Liberty Blockbuster to survive. In later years, a movie critic claims that the original would have survived were it to have been released two years later, but that America wasn’t ready for that type of Hollywood at the time. Everyone dismisses him, but a soldier can’t help but chuckle at what he described as “this midget was apparently blown up into the air, still pretty much completely in tact, but when he came back down his feet landed on two parallel trees, which had all of their branches blown off, so he basically was this little guy up on giant stilts.” Yeah, and the bones without skin thing made it funny as well, I suppose.
Utter tragedy and desolation ensues, without the United States to help support the world’s economy, whether through lending or debt or just not fueling the war machine, the world drops into it’s second Dark Age. AIDs runs rampant and mutates into a nearly instantly deadly strain, most of Africa and the Middle East, well into India, all die out almost completely. Europe has no one to feel superior to, and they quit wearing fancy black berets and spouting sarcastic “greater than thous” which most people blame on their recession into barbarism and cannibalism. Russia was destroyed in the initial war, when the US was uncertain as to how to defend itself without their satellites and manually sent their missiles flying at their only well-known enemy. China rules supreme, if in desperate squalor for the most part. Suprisingly, McDonalds survives the destruction of Earth, and does better afterwards than even they done before. Without the FDA or the WHO, they’re pretty much free to focus on profits again. Capitalism re-emerges from the Chinese people, in the form of black markets and ninja-like assassins serving as regulatory committees. The Rolling Stones never tour again.
My water bottle calms down and I have an eye on my last cigarette. It smokes up nicely and life continues unaffected by my earlier paragraphical predictions…